Monday, 25 October 2010

Slavonian Grebe

We were at Drurudge Pools around midday today and whilst most things were far far away, this little cracker drifted past in front of the hide.

Which I am taking to be a winter plumage Slavonian Grebe. I'm sure corrections will come in if I've got that wrong

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Higher and higher

Was just finishing off a bacon sandwich at lunchtime, gazing out of the window, when this  bird appeared high over Salters Road,  in the west sky, soaring in circles while drifting east. I'm assuming a Sparrowhawk?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

New tenants move in

Up until about three weeks ago we had a pair of Blackbirds who had reared young throughout the summer and were looking decidedly worse for wear with bald patches on their brow and upper breast. Then we had a week away and they must have found a new feeding patch because we have not seen them since.
This morning a new pair arrived looking all bright eyed, shiny and ready for anything.

Whether they will hang around we will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Bridle path

With the unexpected sunshine this afternoon we decided to have a saunter up the bridlepath at Prestwick Carr.
A flock of Goldfinch flew ahead of us  as we walked, followed shortly by about fifteen Mistle thrush lifting up from the hawthorn bushes. There were plenty of Great and Blue Tit darting from bush to bush but all were a keeping low profile. Chaffinch, Wren and Robin all doing the same.
We walked as far as the second gate and stood with the sun on our backs, scanning the east field for something special, but in vain.
On the return a Roe deer broke cover and crossed the path. The horizontal willow seemed to be chock full of small birds providing only the briefest of glimpses.
Back at the cross roads a Buzzard was spotted on top of one of the dead trees, seemed to sense us watching and was off

Not a lot seen but a very enjoyable wander

Monday, 11 October 2010


It seemed ungrateful not to give the most recent migrants a visit so after lunch today we had a trip to St. Mary's.
Leaving the car at the first carpark we headed for the path down the west side of the reserve. Within 10 yards Goldcrest were tumbling out of the hawthorn hedge. We stood within three feet of them feeding totally unconcerned

You just could not be anything but entranced by them - I mean,  just look at it......

A Blackcap was feeding on the elderberries

and a female Redstart was insect catching

There were Robins everywhere, and being watched by about a dozen others this female Red-flanked Bluetail

Small picture but enough to confirm what we were watching. Then  this  bird below which I don't know what it is so comments welcome.

A very enjoyable visit - thanks birds.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

'Ower the wata'

It was necessary to head south of the Tyne today so on the return trip we stopped at Whitburn and had a walk along the cliff top path.
The tide was well on its way up so was starting to push the birds toward the cliff face.
A couple of Bar-tailed Godwit bickered at the waters edge

There were good numbers of Redshank, Turnstone, with Sanderling and Dunlin present

A huge  flock of Golden Plover were gradually being pushed off the rock ends and they gradually made their way to the old shooting range fields

Goldfinch fed on the seed harvest

and I don't have a clue what this was on the sea surface, being mobbed by gulls for 3-4 minutes

Then it was time for ice cream and coffee next to the car park

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Watergate Park

Following a trip to Sunniside earlier today " to fix me Mams telly" we had a walk around the lake in Watergate Park . I had visited this reserve only once before.
The idea to visited was sparked by a pair of Kingfishers flying across in front of the car at Watergate, between Lobley Hill and Sunniside, only 2 or 3 days earlier.
We wandered down the side of the water toward the bridge at the South end and watched a Buzzard being very seriously mobbed by a dozen Corvid. Whilst standing on the bridge a couple of Little Grebe were diving out of sight, and a Kingfisher call alerted us to the same heading towards us, under the bridge and into the sheltered reeded area behind. There must be 10-12 Little Grebe on this stretch of water.  A single male Pochard rested amongst Tufted Duck and Mallard.
At the north end there are a couple of Dragonfly ponds. Don't know why I had not visited these during the summer, but not to late as a pair of Southern Hawkers and I think a  male Migrant were still present.
Quite a nice outing.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


I have just remembered that on our way to St. Mary's Island a couple of days ago that I stopped at the Beehive flash and took a couple of shots of a pair of birds which I could not identify at the time. So I have just had a look and although I'm not totally confident I think they were Ruff.

Pics should enlarge on click
Comments welcome